DH | Aruba and Curaçao are not surprised by Knops’ stance

IPKO meeting in progress

THE HAGUE–The Aruba and Curaçao delegations attending the Inter-Parliamentary Consultation of the Kingdom IPKO were not surprised by the response of Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops on the Kingdom Law proposal to establish a Dispute Regulation.

Earlier this week, during the IPKO in The Hague, experts Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Gerard Hoogers and Gert Oostindie expressed support for the stance of the Dutch Caribbean countries that the draft law as submitted by Knops did not take the past agreement of the four Parliaments of the Kingdom into account.

According to Knops, the current law proposal is “adequate.” He sees no need to include a binding clause in the Dispute Regulation, meaning that the Kingdom Council of Ministers can technically put aside the advice of the entity that gives a ruling in case of disputes between the governments, most probably the Council of State.

Knops stated in his recent response to the questions of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament that, as a point of departure, the Kingdom Council of Ministers would not deviate from a ruling under the Dispute Regulation.

In his opinion, the interest of the Kingdom, especially where it concerns integrity matters in situations of severe deterioration, should prevail above a relatively small procedural oversight. “Not because it serves the interest of the Netherlands as a country, but because the joint interests of the Kingdom require this,” he stated.

The non-binding character of the rulings has resulted in critical questions of the PAR party of Curaçao, and in the Netherlands the Democratic Party D66, the green left party GroenLinks, the Labour Party PvdA and the ChristianUnion. The Aruba and St. Maarten Parliaments have categorically denounced Knops’ law proposal.

Aruba Parliament Chairperson Ady Thijssen brought up the Dispute Regulation and the current law proposal, which is slated to be handled next week Tuesday, during the IPKO deliberations this week.

“Naturally, the State Secretary has the right to defend his proposal, but the fact is that it does not comply with the instruction in the Charter and the wishes of the four Parliaments,” Thijssen said. He noted that the amendment Aruba will submit during the plenary handling next week, which is supported by the St. Maarten Parliament, does comply with both instructions. The Aruba amendment contains a binding ruling of the Council of State.

Curaçao Parliament Chairperson William Millerson agreed with Thijssen. He concurred that the Dispute Regulation has to comply with the wishes of the parliament to have an independent body act as a judge to give a binding ruling on disputes of a legal nature.

Bron: Daily Herald

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